Saturday, January 31, 2015

Whole Brain Teaching in the Music Classroom

I stumbled upon Whole Brain Teaching on one of my Pinterest filled Saturdays.  I was searching for ways to help my extra chatty impulsive first grade class.  Here's the video I found. 


After seeing this video, I was impressed by 6 things.

The students were DOING something while waiting for everyone to be ready.

There were HANDMOTIONS!  I love handmotions!

The students were ECHOING all the time and with purpose.
The students were invited to TALK with one another and they chose to stay on topic.

The length of time that the students were asked to SIT STILL and LISTEN was really short.
There was some kind of SCOREBOARD for when the teacher got what she wanted.

I was mesmerized!  I emailed the teacher in this video and spent hours doing YouTube research and googling everything Whole Brain Teaching.  I started talking to other teachers in my building. I was unsure of what Whole Brain Teaching could look like in a music classroom but I was sure that it would be super cool in a regular classroom.

As more teachers in my building started talking and learning about Whole Brain Teaching, we approached the principal about focusing our building professional development reading on the book written by Chris Biffle, Whole Brain Teaching for Challenging Kids (available on Amazon Kindle for FREE!).  Reading the book, I was more and more convinced that this approach to teaching would be fabulous for not only the challenging kids, but for the most well behaved kids as well.  It's not about a behavior plan, its about a teaching plan.

So what about my music classroom?  It works!  Some parts more than others but the more I explore and try new things, the better my students are behaved and the more they learn. 

Enough to wet your appetite?  The Whole Brain Teaching website has tons of information, research, free resources and webinars!  I'll be delving more into how WBT has impacted my music classroom and transformed how my students learn so stay tuned!

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